Sending Smiles

The HVCB’s newest promotion targets the San Francisco Bay Area

By: By Marty Wentzel


Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile

Hitting the Road

The HVCB is traveling across the country to spread the word about Hawaii’s phenomenal value   

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB)has spent a lot of time on the road a lot lately, spreading the word that Hawaii represents a great vacation value.

In January, the HVCB joined forces with island-specific visitor bureaus and Hawaii supplier and wholesale partners to present destination shows for travel agents. Stops along the way in early February included Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver in Canada; Portland, Ore.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and San Diego, Palo Alto and Berkeley, Calif. In late February, another series of shows took them to Minneapolis, Minn.; Toronto and Montreal in Canada; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas.

The result, according to HVCB managing director of travel trade marketing Julie Zadeh, was a great networking and learning opportunity for all who attended.

"On average, we got about 100 travel agents per event, with anywhere from seven to 20 exhibitors," said Zadeh. "The HVCB organized the events to share a unified message of the value a vacation to Hawaii represents. The goal was to provide travel professionals with the information and tools they need to spread that message and to help them close the sale."

As agents learned about what’s new on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, they enjoyed live Hawaiian entertainment performed by Kawailanamalie Productions/Hula Studio.

Participating in the various events were Air Canada, Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Apple Vacations, Aston Hotels & Resorts, Blue Sky Tours, Classic Vacations, Fairmont Hotels, Fun Sun Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Halekulani Hotel, Happy Vacations, Hilton Waikiki, Honua Kai, Hyatt Hawaii and the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

Additional participants included the Kahala Resort, Kapalua Adventures, Marriott, MLT Vacations, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Pleasant Holidays, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Turtle Bay Resort, US Airways, WestJet and Prince Resorts Hawaii.

Only Online

Scroll down for more information on the HVCB's efforts to promote the islands nationwide

This has been a happy month in the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to the latest campaign from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB).

Called "Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile," the promotion has been targeting Hawaii’s second-largest visitor market with the cheery slogan in print, broadcast and online advertising; digital freeway bulletin boards; in train stations and Bay Area Rapid Transit cars; on ad walls in popular settings; and on such Bay Area television shows such as "The View From the Bay."

The HVCB is banking on giving Bay Area residents “A Thousand Reasons to Smile.” // (c) HTA/Sri Maiava Rusden
The HVCB is banking on giving Bay Area residents "A Thousand Reasons to Smile."

With support from its four island chapters, Hawaiian Airlines and Starwood Hawaii, the month-long promotion is touting the appeal of Hawaii’s culture, natural beauty and music. HVCB president John Monahan said the goal of the campaign is to get consumers longing for the restorative benefits of a Hawaii vacation — especially during these stressful times — and show how affordable it is to visit the islands.

"Getting people to smile is the perfect antidote to the nation’s dreary economic news," said Monahan. "And nothing defines being happy, carefree and lighthearted as much as a Hawaii vacation. We’re going to uplift spirits, recharge batteries and bring smiles back in a thousand ways starting with the great travel deals now being offered."

The campaign is directing consumers to a new HVCB microsite that engages them with interactive promotions, offers information about Hawaii events in the Bay Area and lets them plan their vacation. Travel trade activities in the area are bringing further Hawaii visibility to travel agents and wholesalers via incentive promotions, sales calls, agent training seminars with key suppliers, e-marketing initiatives and Webinars.

To help keep the promotion fresh throughout the month, each week is focusing on an island and an accompanying theme that reflects its destination appeal. From March 1-7, the theme was Oahu —Town and Country. From March 8-14, the spotlight fell on Kauai — 50 Years of Movies in Paradise. The theme of Romance Me Maui covers March 15-21, with March 22-28 focusing on Hawaii’s Big Island — Unlimited Adventure.

Meanwhile, in the island-style tradition of "work over, hang loose," Hawaii’s music, cuisine and aloha spirit are being showcased in Aloha Friday concerts at Gordon Biersch restaurants in San Francisco, Palo Alto and San Jose. Taking place each Friday in March, from 5-11 p.m., the concerts feature some of Hawaii’s top entertainers, including Willie K., Raiatea Helm, Brother Noland, Mailani Makainai, Kealii Kanealii, John Cruz, Cyril Pahinui and Taimane Gardner. Patrons can sample a special menu of Hawaii-inspired cuisine, and they can win trips to the islands.

"HVCB and its island chapters have created an enticing campaign that’s attractive and in touch with the times," said Monahan. "We know from research that Bay Area residents have a strong affinity for our islands, and we’re confident our marketing efforts will convince them to return soon or visit for the first time."